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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

Randy

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Randy last won the day on June 5 2016

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About Randy

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/02/1960

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  • Website URL
    http://www.BelardoLights.com

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  • Location
    San Diego, California, USA
  • Interests
    Photography, Home Improvement, Computers, Christmas Lights
  • Occupation
    Engineer

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  1. Hey Jeff...The answer I would give is one of two possibilities...You can buy some animatronics (and the good ones cost quite a bit), or if you build it yourself, be prepared to spend a LOT of time on them...You'll need to have some good skills in welding, some woodworking, working with fabrics for the costume, some electronics experience for the servo control, etc. We have built two (a snowman and a snow woman) and each one took MONTHS...Very time consuming... Here's a description of the process we used to build our snowman two years ago. Since then we've built a nice snow woman, but I haven't posted the photos and story yet (it would be similar anyways).... http://www.belardolights.com/snowman.html See what you think.... Randy
  2. Our tree has 128 strings total, 32 strings of Red, Green, Blue, and Warm White; 16 channels for each color with two strings of each color per channel. The Red and White lights are wrapped in one direction, and the Blue and Green Lights are wrapped in the other direction. I think it turned out pretty nice...Here's a photo...
  3. What level of LOR license do you have for the software?
  4. Good link, thanks. When I built some custom length LED strings with a full wave rectifer and dropping resistor, I found that I had to do some actual measurements to get things right. First thing I would do is cut into a good working string of the LEDs I was going to use and measure the current (because I want my new string to match that current). It might be 15ma, for example. Then I would wire up the full-wave rectifer and the number of LEDs and use a resistance substitution box to calculate the exact value of resistance that would provide 15ma of current flow. Then I would usually build up that value of resistance by paralleling 4 one watt resistors. Everything worked great, and the strings dim great with LOR. But your link is a good starting point. Sometimes it's hard to know what the forward voltage is on certain LEDs.... Thanks, Randy
  5. Dave, My experience is that different states have different taxes. Some have no income tax, some have no sales tax, but in the end, they just get you with higher amounts of the other taxes that you do pay. I work with a person from Florida (where there is no personal income tax), but my friend's propery tax is about triple what I pay on my house here in California. Is your experience different?
  6. Action Lighting has sold me a few short pieces of colored ropelight for repair at a modest price plus shipping....They also have splice kits as well...
  7. Whoops, sorry, guess I didn't realize about the food (it's been so good in the past, too!)...Honestly, I'm okay with throwing in some more $$$ for food because it will save time and we won't all have to run out and drive around to grab something...Maybe you can make it an optional line item on the registration and people can pay a little extra for lunches....I know I would rather than spend an hour driving to get something.... But, food or not, I'm there..... Randy
  8. I've attended the last two Academys, and they were great...But now, with the addition of the DIY material / classes from RJ and his team, should make next year's Academy an unbeatable combination...I registered early and am definitely planning on attending...It's a great value, and you can't beat the price, especially with the meals thrown in... You can't go wrong by attending next year's Academy.... Randy
  9. I'd buy a set of those...No fancy animation, just some pumpkin faces....My son would enjoy stuffing them... Randy
  10. Are the plugs the same size as your wire (SPT1 vs. SPT2)? It sounds like you could be putting a larger wire into a smaller plug and forcing the top on? Randy
  11. I've heard of 6 volt bulbs (20 per string in series for a 120v connection), but not 5 volt bulbs. How many are on a string? Novelty Lights sells strings of 20 clear lights with 2 spare bulbs...These are 6 volt bulbs... http://www.noveltylights.com/20-Light-White-Wire-Christmas-Mini-Lights.html
  12. Some of it is just trial and error to see what you like. For me, I try to keep the lights between 0.7" and 1". My biggest coro tip: Make sure that you don't get too many lights too close together in a tight area like a face, etc. or else they will look like a light blob without too much detail...Less detail (and lights) is better... My website has some additional information.... http://www.belardolights.com/talking_heads_20.html
  13. Try opening an affected sequence, and then pulling down the "View" menu, then choose "waveform" and then "Full height". I've seen cases where this made the timing grid pop back to normal.... Randy
  14. Payment has been made, so this equipment is now officially sold... Thanks to everyone for your interest... Randy
  15. These units are currently on reserve awaiting payment.... Thanks, Randy
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